Frank J. Orzechowski passed away Friday August 9, 2019 at home surrounded by his loving family after a courageous battle with a short and devastating illness.
Mr. Orzechowski was predeceased by his parents, John S. and Loretta Orzechowski. Frank is survived by his beloved wife of 35 years, Debra Thibault Orzechowski, his children John A. Orzechowski, Katherine (Kasia) Orzechowski and his son-in-law Diego Carrasco. Also surviving are, his sisters Helene (Allyn) Holtzin, Diane Wojcik, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and in-laws.
Born in his grandmother’s kitchen in Urzejowice, Poland on August 7, 1948, Frank spent his early years in the Polish countryside before immigrating to the United States with his mother to unite with his father, settling in a cold water flat in Jersey City, New Jersey where he was joined by the arrival of two younger sisters. From there, the family built a home in Edison, New Jersey where Frank graduated from high school and obtained a Bachelor of Arts from Rutgers University, making the 32-mile round trip journey by bicycle to the Newark campus.
He spent the majority of his career working in the grain industry at Louis Dreyfus Company, where he met his wife and many lasting friends. After leaving New Jersey, Frank had a brief stint in Kansas City, Missouri before moving to Stamford, Connecticut and eventually to Newtown, Connecticut where he and his wife raised their two children.
A devoted father and lover of learning, Frank imparted his deep breadth of knowledge to his children and others, on topics ranging from global history and politics to modern art and classic films, without being pretentious or boastful. He was a world traveler known for his loud singing, whether belting out a Christmas carol, Irish folk song, or Steve Earle tune, aptitude for the New York Times crossword (always done in pen), love of a good book, and quickness to humor, among countless admirable and original qualities.
Frank was a lifelong humanitarian, who desired to make the world a better place. After leaving the grain industry, he worked in international food aid as a Senior Monetization Advisor with Catholic Relief Services because, given where he came from and where he ended up, he had an aspiration to improve the lives of others. He retired in 2016.
Frank was a kind and compassionate man, who insisted that people were mostly good, despite their faults. Though he experienced serious illness as a child and additional trials later in life, he believed that life was more good than bad and that one had to take the bitter with the sweet. His life impacted everyone that he knew and he will be missed forever.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday August 13, 2019 from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Gosselin Funeral Home 660 New Dover Road, Edison, NJ. A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at 9:00 am at the funeral home, followed by a 10:00 am mass at St. Helena Church in Edison, NJ. Interment at St. Gertrude Cemetery, Colonia, NJ.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations in Frank’s loving memory to: Catholic Relief Services, www.crs.org.
“Ring the bells that can still ring, forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”
– Leonard Cohen